How Can Cities Address the Affordable Housing Crisis

Cities have many tools available to them, which if used correctly can have a significant positive effect on the affordable housing market.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the prospect of the repeal of Costa-Hawkins act in California. This measure is being pushed by tenant rights groups claiming it will help with affordable housing. Although I do believe there is an affordable housing crisis, I do believe that the repeal of Costa-Hawkins would only be a short term relief and significantly hurt affordable housing in the long term. So what can cities do to address the affordable housing crisis?

Cities have many tools available to them, and if utilized correctly can significantly positively impact the affordable housing market. It boils down to simple economics, if a developer can build affordable housing, and make money doing so, then they will. How can cities promote the development? It starts first with the approval process. After the cost of land and actual hard construction costs, the time cost and soft costs are the highest expenses for a developer. 

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